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Commentary recommendation / John 2:4


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#1 Elijah

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:18 AM

I'm currently in the process of learning Greek and reading mostly John I got stuck at Joh 2:4 (τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; ).

I searched in every resource I have in Accordance to get the meaning of that phrase.

Currently the only commentary I have is the one-volume New Bible Commentary, but the NET Notes actually were a bit more helpful. It says that the phrace is of Semitic origin (that would be מה־לי ולך). It also gives some reference in the OT:

 

8    tn Grk “Woman, what to me and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι (ti emoi kai soi, gunai) is Semitic in origin. The equivalent Hebrew expression in the Old Testament had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). Option (1) implies hostility, while option (2) implies merely disengagement. Mere disengagement is almost certainly to be understood here as better fitting the context (although some of the Greek Fathers took the remark as a rebuke to Mary, such a rebuke is unlikely).

 

Is there a resource that would go even deeper? I was thinking about getting the Bible Study collection, because of the Tyndale commentary that is included. Is the Tyndale generally good for issues at the original language level, or would I have to look for a more technical commentary?

Maybe someone could post what the TNTC says regarding John 2:4.


Edited by Elijah, 02 January 2014 - 10:41 AM.


#2 Steve King

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

Hi Elijah,

 

Here is what the Tyndale commentary says on John 2:4

 

 

4. Jesus’ response to the implied request in his mother’s words was enigmatic: ‘Dear woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My time has not yet come.’ The NIV’s ‘Dear woman, why do you involve me?’ translates ti emoi kai soi gynai, which rendered literally would read, ‘What [is it] to me and to you, woman?’12 Jesus was perhaps  [Vol 4: Jn p. 94]  questioning the need for either his mother or him to get involved. Maybe the kinship relationship between Jesus’ family and the bridegroom’s family was not close, so the responsibility rested with others. However, where this expression (ti emoi kai soi) is found elsewhere in the NT and in the LXX it always indicates some sort of confrontation or rebuke,13 and it probably does so here also. Addressing his mother simply as ‘woman’, though abrupt to modern readers’ ears, does not imply lack of affection. Jesus addressed his mother in this way from the cross when making loving provision for her care after his death (19:26).

The words ‘my time (hōra) has not yet come’ include the first of nine references to Jesus’ ‘hour/time’ (4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27 [2x]; 13:1; 16:32; 17:1), a significant theme in this Gospel. The first three references indicate that Jesus’ hour had not yet come; the last six indicate that it had come. The hour towards which everything moves is the hour of Jesus’ glorification, which takes place through his death, resurrection and exaltation. Bearing this in mind, Jesus’ response to his mother appears to have confronted her with the news that he was now acting only according to his Father’s timetable, with his eyes fixed on the hour to come (even though he went on to fulfil her implied request).



#3 David_Bailey

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

Hello Elijah,

 

About which commentaries to use for language studies, I have seen suggestions from those who are in the ministry to consider the following list of technical commentaries:

 

  • Analytical Key to the Old Testament
  • Grammatical Analysis of the Greek NT
  • International Critical Commentary           
  • New International Greek Testament Commentary
  • Textual Commentary on Greek NT
  • United Bible Societies’ (UBS) Handbook
  • Word Pictures in the NT (Robertson)
  • Word Studies in the NT (Vincent)
  • Wuest Word Studies in the Greek NT

There are probably other sets not on this list and some may not be available in Accordance. You may consider WBC Vol 36, or the UBS Translator's Handbooks (which the NT set is on sale at the moment).

 

Tyndale commentary is a nice set to have; however, it's focus is pastoral or exegetical in content and not on the technical language.

 

Edit: Here's a Youtube video about the UBS resource:  UBS Handbooks - New Testament


Edited by David_Bailey, 02 January 2014 - 10:55 AM.


#4 Steve King

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

As a comparison of a few others on John 2:4

 

Expositors Bible Commentary

4 The way in which Jesus answers his mother seems rude. A literal translation of the Greek would be, “What to me and to you, woman?” The NLT softens the response by omitting the word “woman” and the NIV by adding the word “dear” before “woman” (a solution that Carson, 170, deems “too sentimental”). The NEB paraphrases, “Your concern, mother, is not mine.” That the term by which Jesus addressed his mother (gynai, “woman,” GK 1222) did not sound overly severe or unsympathetic in the ears of the original readers is clear from the fact that Jesus used the same expression when from the cross in reference to the beloved disciple he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son” (19:26).

The exact nuance of Jesus’ words “why do you involve me?” is not completely clear. It appears to be a Hebrew idiom, the meaning of which depends on the context. Tasker, 59–60, says that often in the OT the statement means, “Don’t bother me; leave me alone,” but in the present passage it should be translated, “Your concern and mine are not the same.” The Jerusalem Bible has, “Woman, why turn to me?” In any case, there is no antagonism in the response. The reason that Jesus hesitated to do what his mother had asked is clear from the statement that follows: “My time has not yet come.” His “hour” (hōra, GK 6052) is the hour of his messianic manifestation. In the fourth gospel the full revelation of Jesus as the promised Messiah takes place in connection with his death and glorification (13:1; cf. 7:30; 8:20).

 

Word Biblical Commentary:

4 It is not impossible that this verse was inserted by the Evangelist into his “signs source” the passage would read more smoothly without it. By contrast Becker claims that the thought is characteristic of the Signs Source itself (he notes 5:6; 6:5 fff; 7:6 fff; 11:6 fff). It is wiser to retain the narrative in its wholeness.

τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί; is a well known but ambiguous expression, which can express a hostile or peaceful attitude (contrast Judg 11:12 with 2 Chron 35:21). 2 Kgs 3:13 is of interest, in that it expresses rejection, yet the prophet gives what is asked; so here is an apparent rejection of Mary’s initiative, yet a granting of the request for intervention. The question may, however, have a gentler tone; an analogical expression from east Syrian “Chaldean” suggests not division but unity of thought, which could here be rendered, “Why are you speaking to me of this need? With you, I understand it” (see Derrett, 241–42).

γύναι has caused needless perplexity. While it is an unusual mode of address to one’s mother, it also may be affectionate. Apart from John 19:26, which cannot be intended to express distance, a significant occurrence of the term is found in Josephus, Ant 17.74: the wife of Pheroras tells Herod (the Great) how her husband summoned her in his illness, beginning his statement with “Woman.” The example is important, since Pheroras had great affection for his wife; he refused Herod’s request that he send her away, and his persistance in keeping her led to a rupture of relations between the two men.

In this Gospel the “hour” of Jesus commonly denotes his death and glorification [vol. 36, p. 35] (see 7:30; 8:20; 13:1; 17:1). An immediate reference to that hour is scarcely thinkable in this context; it must relate to the service of the divine sovereignty on which Jesus now embarks, which will (as the Evangelist knows) culminate in the “lifting up” on the cross. (If the saying was in the source it would clearly have related to the beginning of the redemptive ministry, and was interpreted by the Evangelist in the light of its end, since the ministry was an indivisible unity.) The import of the statement is to declare that Jesus’ service for the kingdom of God is determined solely by his Father; into that area not even his mother can intrude (cf 7:3–9 and Mark 3:31–35, and see the excellent discussion of Schnackenburg, 1:327–31).

 

New International Commentary on the New Testament (Leon Morris)

4 Jesus’ address to her, “Woman,” is not as cold in the Greek as in English. He uses it, for example, in his last moments as he hangs on the cross and tenderly commends her to the beloved disciple (19:26).22 This vocative was “a term of respect or affection” (LS). Yet we must bear in mind that it is most unusual to find it when a son addresses his mother. There appear to be no examples of this use cited other than those in this Gospel. It is neither a Hebrew nor a Greek practice. That Jesus calls Mary “Woman” and not “Mother” probably indicates that there is a new relationship between them as he enters his public ministry.23 And if the form of address is tender, the  rest of Jesus’ words make it clear that there was something of a barrier between them.24 Evidently Mary thought of the intimate relations of the home at Nazareth as persisting. But Jesus in his public ministry was not only or primarily the son of Mary, but “the Son of Man” who was to bring the realities of heaven to people on earth (1:51). A new relationship was established. Mary must not presume.25 The meaning of “My time has not yet come”26 in the context is surely, “It is not yet time for me to act.” Yet we should notice a remarkable series of passages throughout this Gospel which refer to the “hour” or the “time” of Jesus. This is said not to have come in 7:6, 8, 30;  8:20, as well as here. But when the cross is in immediate prospect Jesus says, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (12:23; cf. also 12:27; 13:1; 16:32; 17:1; the same idea may be present in Matt. 26:18, 45; Mark 14:41).27 If we are right in linking the present passage with the later ones Jesus is thinking of his messianic function. At the threshold of his ministry he looks forward to its consummation.28

Leon Morris, The Gospel of John (NICNT; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 158-160.

 

New International Commentary on the New Testament (New volume on John by Michaels)

4 Jesus’ abrupt reply, “What is that to me or to you?” (literally, “What to me and to you?”) is a startling expression here because its five other New Testament occurrences are all in stories of demon possession, addressed to Jesus by people who are possessed.17 The same idiom in Hebrew occurs in a wider range of settings in the Old Testament.18 There the meaning can range from conflict between two parties (Jdg 11:12 and 1 Kgs 17:18, “What do you have against me?”) or avoidance of conflict (2 Chr 35:21, “What quarrel do I have with you?”), to simple disengagement of one party from another (2 Kgs 3:13, “What have we to do with each other?”; compare Hos 14:8, “What has he [Ephraim] to do with idols?”). It is more ambiguous in 2 Samuel 16:10 and 19:23, where King David seems to demand disengagement between himself and “Abishai son of Zeruiah,” and at the same time between both of them and “Shimei son of Gera,” guaranteeing that Shimei will not be put to death. Disengagement is the point of Jesus’ reply to his mother as well, but with the same ambiguity we find in the two texts from 2 Samuel. If Jesus is taking his mother’s comment as an implicit request for him to act, it is natural to understand his reply as personal disengagement from her and what she is asking, as if to say (in the impatient tone of the modern idiom), “What do you want from me?” But if he hears her comment simply as a statement  of fact (which it appears to be), his reply could be read as a disengagement of both of them from the troubles of the wedding party, as if to say, “What is that to me or to you?”19

It is difficult to decide between these alternatives. On the one hand, Jesus’ knowledge of the inner thoughts of people he encounters (see 1:48; 2:24–25; 4:17–18) suggests that he might well be looking beneath the surface of his mother’s remark and responding to an unspoken request to work a miracle. Moreover, as Brown points out, “the fact that he speaks of ‘my hour’ would seem to indicate that he is denying only his own involvement.”20 Commentators have found in this Gospel a recurrent pattern of Jesus at first refusing a request, then establishing his independence of human agendas by referring to a decisive “hour” or “time” of glorification, but then granting the request after all (for example, Jesus and his brothers in 7:2–10; Jesus and the sisters of Lazarus in 11:1–7).21 On the other hand, each incident is different, and their distinctiveness must be respected. For example, only Jesus’ brothers in chapter 7 ask anything of him explicitly, and the Gospel writer is quick to tell us that their request was made in unbelief (7:5). Neither Jesus’ mother here nor the sisters of Lazarus in chapter 11 make any actual request, and there is no evidence here (unless this is it) that Jesus and his mother have contrary intentions. Given the portrait of Jesus that emerges in this Gospel, there is little doubt that the narrative comment made in connection with the feeding of the five thousand applies here as well: “For he himself knew what he was going to do” (6:6). His mother’s remark that “they have no wine” (v. 3) is not so much a request for Jesus to perform a miracle as a signal to the reader that he is going to do so. Her subsequent word to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (v. 5), will signal further that this is her expectation as well. In short, Jesus and his mother are thinking along the same lines, not at cross purposes.

If this is the case, then Jesus’ words are meant not as disengagement from his mother or what she has in mind, but as disengagement of them both from the wedding banquet and its immediate needs. His mother’s matter-of-fact pronouncement, “They have no wine,” could evoke an impression of extreme need or deprivation (as in Mk 8:2; Mt 15:32). Yet whatever we may think of the importance of being a good host, or of honor  and shame in the New Testament world, a shortage of wine at a wedding is not in quite the same category as a life-threatening illness (4:46–54), physical helplessness (5:1–8), being without food (6:5–13), blindness (9:1–7), or death (11:11–16, 38–44). Jesus’ words to his mother are not a rebuke, nor an unambiguous refusal to act, but simply a reminder that the need she has pointed out is a relatively minor one. “Don’t worry,” he seems to say, “Their predicament is nothing to us. They will survive quite nicely even if ‘They have no wine’!” He could even be saying, “Don’t worry, woman. What is it to us? It is a small thing, and easily fixed.” The issue is not compassion, but the revealing of Jesus’ glory (compare 1:14), and it is important to make clear at the outset (to his mother, but above all to the reader) that whatever revelation is to take place here is only a beginning, and a modest one at that. This he does with the additional comment, “My hour has not yet come.” We are left with a twofold question: First, how would Jesus’ mother have understood this pronouncement? Second, how is the reader of the Gospel to understand it?

Both here and in 19:26, Jesus addresses his mother as “woman” (gynai), the same term he uses in addressing the Samaritan woman (4:21) and Mary Magdalene (20:15; compare the angels in v. 13).22 While the term implies no disrespect,23 it makes Jesus’ mother a stranger, just as the Samaritan woman was a stranger to Jesus, and just as Mary Magdalene was a stranger as long as she thought he was the gardener.24 Yet the designation is not surprising if we keep in mind that Jesus never calls her “mother” (or “Mary”) in any of the four Gospels. Only in John’s Gospel, in fact, does he ever speak to her directly as an individual.25 The three other instances in this Gospel are instructive in that each is linked, directly or indirectly, either to a decisive “hour,” or to something “not yet.” In 4:21 Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that “an hour is coming,” or “an hour is coming and now  is” (v. 23), when worship will be “in Spirit and truth.” In 19:27, as soon as Jesus had given his mother into the beloved disciple’s care, we are told that “From that hour the disciple took her home.” In 20:17 Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to hold on to him, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” In yet another instance Jesus tells a parable about “the woman,” who “when she gives birth, has pain because her hour has come. But when the child is born, she no longer remembers the pain, because of the joy that a human being is born into the world” (16:21). This woman represents Jesus’ disciples, who “now have pain, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (v. 22; compare 16:2, 4, 32). The evidence is complex. The “hour” can be a time of suffering that will pass, or a moment of decisive change and vindication, or both at once. As a mother and as a woman, the mother of Jesus knows of such times in life, above all giving birth and coping with death. While she has no way of knowing that Jesus’ hour will in some sense be hers as well (19:27), she has good reason to sense in her son’s words a momentous destiny of some kind. Beyond that, it is difficult to know how she would have heard his pronouncement. What determines her quick response (v. 5) is not so much the term “hour” as Jesus’ assurance to her that it “is not yet here.” If she believed that by his “hour” Jesus meant simply the right time to perform a miracle, then his reply would have been a clear refusal to act. But if he meant a decisive future crisis, the “not yet” could signal just the opposite: that there was still time to address such mundane things as a shortage of wine at a wedding!26

As to the readers of the Gospel, it is necessary to distinguish between first-time readers and those who have read or heard the Gospel before. For the latter, the answer is easy. They will remember that when the religious authorities later tried to arrest Jesus, they could not do so because “his hour had not yet come” (7:30; 8:20). But then at the Passover, when some Greeks asked to see him, Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (12:23), and prayed, “Father, save me from this hour — no, this is why I came to this hour! Father, glorify your name” (vv. 27–28; compare 17:1, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you”). Such readers will know that Jesus’ “hour” is the moment of his  death, “his hour to be taken out of this world” (13:1), the “sixth hour” of the Day of Preparation of the Passover (19:14). None of this is apparent to first-time readers. Jesus’ ministry is just beginning (compare v. 11), and they have little more to go on than Jesus’ mother. Yet from the preceding testimony of John, they can infer that perhaps Jesus’ “hour” is the moment when he will carry out his priestly work of purification by “taking away the sin of the world” (1:29) and “baptizing in Holy Spirit” (1:33). Now they learn that the time for the decisive cleansing is “not yet.” They will also remember that Jesus promised them a vision of “angels going up and coming down over the Son of man” (1:51) — a process rather than a single moment — and they may well be wondering whether that vision too belongs to the future “hour,” or whether it is closer at hand.

J. Ramsey Michaels, The Gospel of John (NICNT; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 141-145.



#5 Steve King

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

Here is the UBS

 

2.4

Jesus’ use of “woman” (RSV) in direct address was normal and polite (compare Matt 15.28). It showed neither disrespect nor lack of love, as can be clearly seen by the parallel use in 19.26. TEV has omitted mention of “woman” as a noun of address, because it is not necessary in English and tends to convey the impression that Jesus was disrespectful.

A number of serious problems are involved in translating “woman” literally. In some languages a man would address his own wife this way, and so this rendering cannot be employed here. In other languages, to address one’s mother as “woman” would be insulting; it could even be interpreted to mean that Jesus was denying that Mary was his mother. The closest equivalent in many languages is simply “my mother” or “mother,” but in others an equivalent expression showing proper respect would require the omission of any expression of direct address, as in TEV.

You must not tell me what to do translates a Semitism (literally “what to me and to you?”) It appears in the Septuagintwith at least two different meanings. In Judges 11.12, Jephthah’s reply to the Ammonite king is best taken to mean “What is your quarrel with us?” In 2 Samuel 16.10, David’s response to Abishai and Joab may be translated, “This is none of your business.” In the New Testament the same expression is used by demons when confronted by Jesus (Mark 1; 24; 5.7) and is rendered in TEV as “What do you want with us?” In the present passage the force of the expression seems to be to deny the authority of Mary over Jesus in the revelation of his true glory. That is, the time and the manner in which the Son would reveal his glory to the world was determined by God the Father and not by any earthly person, not even Jesus’ mother. This judgement is validated by what Jesus says immediately afterward,” My time has not yet come.” The time (literally “hour”) of Jesus is his death on the cross and his resulting exaltation in glory. In 7.30 and in 8.20, John indicates that Jesus’ opponents were not able to arrest him, because his hour had not yet come. Elsewhere Jesus’ time is spoken of as being imminent (12.27; 13.1; 17.1).

In order to avoid what seems to be Jesus’ rebuke of his mother, a number of translators render this Semitic idiom “Why is this our concern?” but the fact that Jesus speaks of “my hour” suggests that he is denying only his own involvement. Furthermore, this is not the correct meaning of the Semitic idiom. On the other hand, it is not necessary to say “You must not tell me what to do.” Other possibilities are “Why are you bothering me about this?” or “Do not try to direct me.”

My time has not yet come may require some slight modification, since in many languages no abstract term for “time” exists to identify a particular occasion. Rather, the tendency is to use such words as “day” or even “hour.” In some languages such expressions as “The day for me to act has not yet come” or “This is not yet the day for me to do something about it” may be useful.

 

Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida, A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of John (UBS Translator’s Handbooks; Accordance electronic ed. New York: United Bible Societies, 1980), n.p.



#6 Elijah

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:28 PM

Thanks, that's really helpful. The UBS Handbook seems pretty comprehensive yet concise. 

Do you happen to have the Carson commentary on John (Pillar) which ranks on the top on bestcommentaries.com?

It has the P (pastoral) tag, but it would be interesting to see in comparison.


Edited by Elijah, 02 January 2014 - 01:30 PM.


#7 David_Bailey

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:36 PM

From Carson's Pillar NT Commentary on John.  Partial response for John 2.4:

 

Jesus’ enigmatic response invites comment on three points.
(1) The form of address, gynai (NIV ‘Dear woman’), though thoroughly courteous, is not normally an endearing term, nor the form of address preferred by a son addressing a much-loved mother. When Jesus addresses Mary from the cross, he uses the same expression (19:26). English equivalents are hard to come by. ‘Woman’ is too distant, and possibly too condescending; ‘Dear woman’ is too sentimental. ‘Lady’ is not much used, except as a formal title or on the lips of a New York cab driver telling a female passenger to hurry up (‘Get in, lady!’). The expression can be invested with deep love (as the husband of Pheroras addresses his wife with great affection: Jos., Ant. xvii. 74), but is not characteristically used that way. Bruce (p. 69) suggests the Ulster expression ‘Woman dear’; the expression much heard in the southern United States, ‘Ma’am’, has it almost exactly, except that well-brought-up children in the South address their mothers with that term—and that is precisely how the term does not function on Jesus’ lips. NEB’s ‘Your concern, mother, is not mine’, is unjustified.
(2) The question itself, ti emoi kai soi (lit. ‘what to me and to you?’) has generated a number of translations. The expression, common in semitic idiom (e.g. Jdg. 11:12; 2 Sa. 16:10), always distances the two parties, the speaker’s tone overlaid with some degree of reproach (cf. the demons addressing Jesus, Mt. 8:29; Mk. 1:24; 5:7; Lk. 4:34; 8:28). The tone is not rude; it is certainly abrupt. Some protest or refusal is also found where the idiom occurs in classical and hellenistic Greek (cf. Abbott § 2229). Some interpreters say the expression means either ‘what have I to do with thee?’ (RV) or ‘what have you to do with me?’ (RSV), opting for the latter on the basis of context (e.g. Bruce, p. 69). Strictly speaking, however, the idiom simply asks what is common to you and me—i.e. ‘What do you and I have in common (so far as the matter at hand is concerned)?’ That has generated the more periphrastic renderings, largely right in substance: ‘You have no claims on me’ or why do you involve me? (NIV). The expression is, at the very least, a measured rebuke; the efforts of Lagrange (p. 56) and Schnackenburg (1. 328), to make it mean something like ‘what would you have me do?’ are groundless.
We must not avoid the conclusion that Jesus by rebuking his mother, however courteously, declares, at the beginning of his ministry, his utter freedom from any kind of human advice, agenda or manipulation. He has embarked on his ministry, the purpose of his coming; his only lodestar is his heavenly Father’s will (5:30; 8:29). This must have been extremely difficult for Mary. She had borne him, nursed him, taught his baby fingers elementary skills, watched him fall over as he learned to walk; apparently she had also come to rely on him as the family provider. But now that he had entered into the purpose of his coming, everything, even family ties, had to be subordinated to his divine mission. She could no longer view him as other mothers viewed their sons; she must no longer be allowed the prerogatives of motherhood. It is a remarkable fact that everywhere Mary appears during the course of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus is at pains to establish distance between them (e.g. Mt. 12:46–50). This is not callousness on Jesus’ part: on the cross he makes provision for her future (19:25–27). But she, like every other person, must come to him as to the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Neither she nor anyone else dare presume to approach him on an ‘inside track’—a lesson even Peter had to learn (Mk. 8:31–33). For no-one could this lesson have been more difficult than for Jesus’ mother; perhaps that was part of the sword that would pierce her soul (Lk. 2:35). For this we should honour her the more.
(3) The reason Jesus gives for the distance he maintains between his mother and himself must be viewed in the light of the cross. My time has not yet come, he says: the word ‘time’, literally ‘hour’ (hōra), constantly refers to his death on the cross and the exaltation bound up with it (7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1), or the consequences deriving from it (5:28–29), so it would be unnatural to take it in any other way here. But how could that have been a response to Mary? And what could the reader be expected to understand from so enigmatic a reference?
To answer the second question first, rhetoric would call this sort of reference an internal prolepsis, a reference to a theme that will be developed later or to an event that will occur later in the narrative. Such a device captures the reader’s interest and asks questions: What does ‘hour’ mean? When does this ‘hour’ come? By whetting the reader’s curiosity it encourages more thoughtful reading; moreover the book becomes deeper and more complex when it is read the second, third and subsequent times. Anticipating the development of the theme, then, we note that the ‘hour’ of Jesus’ death, resurrection and exaltation to glory is in the first part of this Gospel constantly said to be ‘not yet’, until the arrival of the Gentiles (12:20ff.). From that point on, with Jesus on the brink of death, the hour is said to have arrived (13:1; 17:1).


D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991), 170–171.



#8 David_Bailey

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:57 PM

Edit:  I just noticed the Pillar NTC set is on sale. Gospel of John by D.A. Carson.  Excellent commentary set and value in Accordance!






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